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Powerstrips on a flat roof.

Powerstrips on a tile roof fitted around a PV system.

Solar pool heaters are no longer just plastic black rectangles strapped to the roof of a house with non-structural roof penetrations. Today’s technology allows these systems to be fitted to the roof space and secured structurally often with no roof penetrations at all. Powerstrips, manufactured by Hot Sun Industries of San Diego California are freeze tolerant, serviceable, modular and repairable. Fitted tighter to the roof than rigid sheet polypropylene solar panels means less wind loss and better performance per collector area all without sacrificing the value of the home.

Powerstrips vs other types.

Powerstrips hidden on a pergola.


In some of our primary markets, namely Arizona and Southern California, including Riverside, LA, and San Diego counties, as well as the Bay area of San Francisco, residential customers find solar pool heaters are the only heaters they need. In Canada however, it is common that solar and gas or even heat pumps have to work together. Commercial pools everywhere generally require the more consistent pool temperature guarantee of a gas heater or heat pump. Solar may not be a good idea on a commercial pool. Solar pool hating is a choice and the choice involves pros and cons just like any other choice. The con is that if you don’t let the pool temperature change a little you can’t store any solar energy and storage is key in any solar thermal system.


We’ve compiled performance charts for many areas around North America and verified them with hundreds of real solar heated pools. Click on your region to get an idea of what solar can do for a pool in your area. See the section on the navigation bar called “Regional Performance Curves”.

Below is is a typical pool in San Diego, California with a little pool shade, located near the ocean where the collectors are on a south facing roof.

100% solar means a solar heater sized at 100% (same size) as the top surface of the pool.

Go to sizing for the recommended amount of solar for any given pool. Then go to the section of this web site designed for the roof type solar will marry to and you’ll find most of the information you need. If you’d like to call us at 858 683 0800 please gather this information first.


Any solar panel can go on a pitched shingle roof but Powerstrips aren’t restricted to standard sizes. Powerstrips are flexible meaning the absorber section doesn’t have to shift side to side across the shingles as the header manifolds expand and contract with temperature. Flexibility allows the option to glue the absorber to the roof rather than strapping and bolting.

Another important advantage we have on shingle roofs is that we can secure both header manifolds to the roof. Polypropylene grid style collectors have to dangle under straps because one header has to be able to move to accomodate the collector shrinking with temperature drop. Flexibility allows Powerstrips to just stretch.

Headers can be arranged vertically and the fin tubing (absorber) glued down sideways. An entire system can be secured to the roof with only 6 roof connections into the rafters; structurally sound and leak free. High wind ratings are easy to achieve compared to rigid polypropylene collectors.

Finally the flexible material removes all major fear of freeze damage and is fully repairable in the field.

For all the details we need to give you a price quote go to shingle and metal roof installations


Powerstrips were originally developed specifically for tile roofs. The flexible material follows the wave of the tiles to some extent. The system is built on the roof to fit the roof making best use of available space and creating a system that adds value to the home instead of taking it away. One foot wide sections fit each row of tiles meaning that the ends of the tiles are exposed so when you look up at it from ground level you see the ends of the tiles. No roof penetrations, best use of available space, best esthetics, and easiest hurricane rating approvals make Powerstrip the only choice for a tile roof mounted solar pool heater. More on Powerstrips on tile roofs


You can not use a regular polypropylene fixed size collector on a flat roof for 2 reasons. The water won’t drain out of it so it’ll freeze and burst. Secondly, you have to bolt down that rigid “sail” so it won’t fly off the roof. Don’t make a roof penetration on a flat roof.

Hot Sun’s Powerstrip flexible solar collectors are often secured with a ballasted framework. We developed this system for commercial installations. It can be removed easily for roof resurfacing.


Photovoltaics are everywhere these days. They are taking up the space we need for pool heating. Its simply false that solar pool heating can be moved to a lesser solar space like the north facing roof to leave room for the new PV system. PV/Thermal is the holy grail of all things solar energy because PV panels operate far hotter than they are supposed to. They are black and in the sun and they even have a layer of glass over them to ramp up the temperature even more. That electricity you were promised was promised to you at 25C normal cell operating temperature but normally PV modules operate a lot hotter than that. So much so that output can be 20% less than promised or predicted. Not so if we cool the PV panels with the pool heater. Its a perfect match. We need about the same size solar pool heater as you do a PV system and they need to be in the best solar space, the south and west facing slopes. We have the technology to adapt our solar pool heating heat exchanger to the back of your PV array. We get better performance in windy conditions than if we’re not behind the PV panels, we improve PV output something like 20% and we reduce degradation of the PV cells due to heat. Instead of 20% degradation in 25 years we expect 5%. Now you don’t see the ugly pool heater just the pretty PV panels. There are permitting challenges because the standards are still being written and there are many competing technologies. Ours is best for several reasons. Its a retrofit so it works with any existing PV array. It can use roof space and PV space not just one or the other. All connections are serviceable outside the PV array. Our system is continuous across the entire bank of PV modules.


A separate solar heater that doesn’t involve the roof of your home has appeal but it takes up real estate and you may not want to look at it. Powerstrip solar collectors are not constrained to the normal 4×12 and 4×10 sizes. We can build a structure to fit the landscape. In fact, in many cases it makes sense to mount the solar collector system right to the earth. This option is especially attractive when the ground space is steep.

We can double up the header manifolds at each end eliminating the spaces between the one foot wide sections. This means the solar collector itself can act as weedcloth and we can pack more solar into less space. More on ground mounting and rack mounting .

Click on sizing to learn all about what to expect from a solar heater. You’ll find a form you can fill in so we can help your local dealer fully specify and quote your installed solar heater. If you want to contract this out yourself or install it yourself we specialize in providing the expert support you need.

Hot Sun Industries Inc.

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